"I never said my wishes were supposed to do any good," said the Djinn...
91 Zi'da 717
The Tundra north of Viden
Alucard stopped in his tracks, gritting teeth rotting from too many years of pipe tobacco and poor dental hygiene. The grinding hurt him, but not enough to shake the grizzled veteran from his place of anger and insult. Turning slowly, his wild eyes fell on the defiant Gawyne, piercing through him like a ballista bolt, the weight of the First Ranger's ire putting pressure directly on Caius' shoulders. Opening his mouth to rebuff the boy, he was stunned instead by Caius' knowledge of their destination?
How'd he know? Ken the little fekker read m'mind? Alucard thought clearly, staring at the Gawyne to detect any possible change at the thought. When he saw none, he took a threatening step forward, only for Darcyanna to step up behind Caius and reprimand him. Once again stopping, he observed the two, and a slight smirk built on his cracked old lips. The way the girl spoke to him told Alucard that their relationship was more than just being distantly related through the Seven's incestuous bloodlines. Additionally, they had been intimate, and the girl spoke to the recalcitrant noble boy with the same affection and irritation a lover would.
"Listen here, an' listen good, ye little fekkin' nancy boy. Ye an' yer little girlfriends're gonna do whatsoever it is I say, because if'n ye don't, yer gonna leave yer bones in the Tundra as yer Seven-damned souls walk the fekkin' world. Ye understand me?"
Glaring at Caius, the First Ranger's voice rose so that they could all hear him, with no Fates-damned excuses as to why they shouldn't. Turning the ice-blue eyes onto each, not wavering even in the exotic and disconcerting all-whites of the Eidisi, Alucard addressed the group before they would continue.
"Ye's wanna know howta not die? Keep yer fekkin' eyes open, do what I fekkin' say, and for the love of the Seven, shut yer fekkin' shit-filled mouths." The last portion was obviously directed at Caius, and once again, the First Rangers eyes fell on him. Leaning in, so that only Caius and Darcyanna, who was close to him, could hear, he spoke again.
"I dunno how ye knew where we're goin', but next time ye have a fekkin' observation, shut yer fekkin' gourd." He stared at Caius, the rancid scent of his rotting teeth and tobacco filling the young noble's nostrils and sending a wave of nausea through him. Standing again, he turned and surveyed the vast landscape, sighing. In the very distance, he could see their approximate location. Sighing a second time, more of a huff actually, his gruff voice sounded again.
"Aye, then. Since this bastard child of Sintra's bulbous arse can't keep his prissy mouth closed, aye, Treid's Sanctum. Ain't got any idea what we'll find there, only know that's where the fekkin' map leads. Since ye seem to know the whole Seven-damned world, do ye wish to lead, My-Fekkin'Lord?" He growled at the boy, but did not wait for a response. Instead, the turned and began his trek deeper into the glacial wasteland. As they walked, Alucard began to speak, spouting exposition to fill the time.
"I been First Ranger likely longer'n some o' ye been wiping yer own arses. An' never in my Fates-damned life have I ever woken up, freezin' my damned grapes off in a fekkin' tent with some whiny nobles and blue girls. I mean, not without drink'n first." He chuckled at his own joke, but immediately resumed his sour mood after. "So I'm thinkin' we're supposed to be goin' to this fekkin' place, and once we're there, we'll find another map or some'p."
He shrugged, his broad shoulders obviously moving. Trekking through the ice was no easy feat, and it took them the better part of the day to do so. The pace was grueling, with Alucard stopping for a bit or two to allow them to pull the hard tack out of their packs to gnaw on while they walked. Made of some sort of oat and sorghum concoction, the treat was sweet and filling, but took as long to eat as any meal any of them had ever had. Alucard broke a tooth on his, but he just spit out the chunk and kept marching. When the Sanctum grew close enough to see features, the First Ranger stopped.
"Karem's hairy cunt... There it is." He stopped, the dark mouth of the cave offering literally no hint as to what lied inside. Turning back to the group, the flesh of his face flushed red, except around the scar, accentuating it like an aura of remembrance. The light in his eyes burned like a bonfire, and they could see the excitement welling in the First Ranger.
"Any o' ye any damn good with a blade? Or a axe? Or any fekkin' thing that isn't yer wit, or lack thereof?" He asked, frowning at Caius for a trill too long. "Because if not, all of ye stay the fek behin' me, or I'm gonna let whatever's in that hole eat yer fekkin' head, and I won't weep a single tear ta Vri's emotional arse for ye." He grunted, drawing his sword, and inched towards the cave.
This close to it, the chill in their bones caused them to ache. It seemed to emanate from the cave, coming in waves of crashing cold, seeping through their gear. It was a supernatural cold, pulsating and ethereal in their bones. Each of them felt more exposed, and more closely linked, than they ever had. Except Alucard. It was like the cold didn't bother him in the slightest. He was a badass.
"In fact, I swore they would always do as much harm as possible."